Charlottesville Breaking News

Baldi watch: Bel Rio owner's absence prompts media scramble

dish-baldiBel Rio owner Jim Baldi FILE PHOTO BY DAVE MCNAIR

Since the Hook first reported last week on the mysterious disappearance of Bel Rio owner James K. Baldi, local reporters have busily dug up new information that suggests the debonair 47-year-old freelance accountant and restaurateur’s impromptu vacation could become permanent.

It also appears that his 25-year-old traveling companion, Kristian Throckmorton, a former Bel Rio bartender, was indeed the subject of a missing persons report. While Throckmorton’s mother, Wendy Ellis, declined media comment when the story first broke July 20, a story in the Daily Progress reveals that the family filed a missing persons report, an action that appears to have launched a brief police investigation.


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Where's Baldi? Bel Rio closes, owner vanishes

dish-baldiBel Rio owner Jim Baldi. FILE PHOTO BY DAVE MCNAIR

Bel Rio, the Downtown Belmont restaurant and music venue that has sparked a passionate debate over noise-levels at night spots–-which led to an amended City noise ordinance–-appears to have disappeared, along with its owner, without a sound.

A sign on Bel Rio’s door last week announced that the venue would be closed for two weeks for vacation and kitchen renovations, but that was news to building owner Jeff Easter.

“I still haven’t heard from him,” says Easter of Bel Rio owner Jim Baldi. “I think he’s gone.”


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Cold hit: Police connect Morgan Harrington slaying to Fairfax attack

news-harringtonattackerwantedsketchThe suspect, depicted here from the 2005 victim's description, would now be 30 to 40 years old. FAIRFAX POLICE

Police investigating the slaying of 20-year-old concert-goer Morgan Dana Harrington have made a "cold hit" connecting forensic evidence obtained in the investigation with an unknown 2005 rape suspect in Fairfax.

The young woman from Roanoke, who was pursuing an education degree at Virginia Tech, disappeared after leaving a Metallica concert on the night of October 17, 2009. Her mostly skeletal remains were discovered a little over three months later on 742-acre Anchorage Farm in southern Albemarle County.

Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office, University of Virginia Police, Albemarle County Police, and the Charlottesville Police are working with the City of Fairfax Police in regards to both criminal incidents.


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Timely disposal: City dumps RSWA for Van der Linde

news-verderlinde-aerial31Van der Linde's recycling facility(surrounding the holding pond) is permitted to handle 1,000 tons of trash a day. The RSWA's Ivy transfer station: 150 tons a day PHOTO BY SKIP DEGAN

Last year, our local governments stood behind the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority as it spent nearly $400,000 trying to prove that recycling entrepreneur Peter Van der Linde had defrauded area tax payers. Now it appears that tax payer funds, including disposal fees that once went to the RSWA, will be headed Van der Linde’s way.

Last week, Charlottesville City Council said good-bye to its long-standing support agreement with the RSWA, which had required City trash be taken to an RSWA-sponsored transfer station for the purpose of collecting a “service contribution fee” to support the Authority’s services, a...

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Eight months: Harringtons mark anniversary with frustration, hope

news-harringtons-arrivingDan and Gil Harrington arrive at the Copeley Road Bridge on June 17, the eight-month anniversary of their daughter Morgan's disappearance. PHOTO BY COURTENEY STUART

On the eight-month anniversary of their daughter's disappearance during an October 17 Metallica concert in Charlottesville, and nearly five months after her decomposed remains were found on a remote corner of an Albemarle County farm, Morgan Harrington's parents, Dan and Gil Harrington, speak of their increasing frustration– not only with the lack of an arrest in the case– but with Virginia State Police and UVA administrators, whom both Harringtons criticize directly.

"They have not been on top of things when it comes to letting people know there's a murderer here," says Gil Harrington, standing on the Copeley Road bridge in front...

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